Reynolds & Reynolds: Case Study

The Situation

Reynolds is one of the largest non-vehicle suppliers to automotive retail dealers in North America with over 40% market share in their space. Reynolds was developing a new wireless product; Mobile Service Advisor (MSA) that they felt would provide a more flexible option to entering repair orders at the service area of the car dealers.

They were beginning to get feedback from the marketplace that they were designing products in a vacuum and including the customers too late in the development process. They used MSA to help change the reality and perception of customer inclusion.

The Challenge

Include the customer upfront in requirements process to improve the quality, time to market and penetration of the solutions into the market…systematically increase the “batting average” of new releases. This includes marketing (segmentation, value proposition, promotion, awareness building), Sales (target, approach, influencers, decision process), product (relevancy, work-flow integration, functionality, usability), Customer service (call center support, repairs).

The Action

Reynolds built a prototype based on Customer Advisory Board requirements to prove out the concept of the new Mobile Service Advisor Solution.

The goals:

  • Validate the product – user interface, speed of write-up and additional selling opportunities through the new solution.
  • Identify what they liked, why they liked it and what would they change and why.
  • Help Reynolds effectively introduce, market and sell MSA.

The Result

The CAB provided critical information that resulted in an offering that was more functional and easier to use in the car dealer’s service areas and had zero critical customer defects; which is unheard of in the software world. Secondly, the CAB helped Reynolds develop an accurate marketing segmentation of the product with related value propositions for each segment. As a bonus, the CAB uncovered a new opportunity and Reynolds is developing a product is expected to be released later this year, generating even more sales and continuing to differentiate Reynolds from the competition.

As a result of the work with the CAB, Reynolds significantly improved it’s time to market by 20% which in turn will improve its expected return on investment (payback) from 2.3 years to 1.7 years.

Rob Leary, Vice President, summarized his experience this way, “After serving the automotive market for over 100 years, our customers cannot only teach us something but make us much more successful than we ever could achieve on our own.